Endodontic FAQ

What is a root canal?

A root canal is the process of removing the inflamed or infected pulp tissue within the canal spaces of a root, disinfecting the canals, and placing a sterile, biocompatible filling material in the space.

Why choose an endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists who have completed at least two years of additional training in root canal treatment. Because our practice is limited to endodontics, we perform root canal therapy every day. As root canal specialists, we are able to effectively treat and better diagnose difficult cases with the use of advanced technology.

Will a root canal compromise the esthetics of my tooth?

No. Root canal therapy is performed inside the tooth. The only way to tell if a tooth has had root canal therapy is with radiographic verification (dental X-ray).

Is a root canal considered a major procedure?

No. Dental procedures are unlike most medical procedures, which often require some time to recover. Even within the dental field, there are other procedures that are far more invasive than root canal treatment.

How much time do I need to take off from work in order to recover from the procedure?

Typically, no time off is required. The procedure is usually performed in the midst of your daily schedule.

I would like to attend a social function a few hours after my procedure. Do I need to cancel my plans?

Typically not. See answer above.

Can I go to the gym or exercise afterwards or should I take it easy?

You can go to the gym, run, jog, or perform any routine you typically do.

Can I wear my nightguard or floss after my root canal?


I’ve heard root canals are pretty painful. How much pain am I going to be in afterwards?

The level of post-treatment discomfort varies among patients. Many patients report none, while others have soreness, which is manageable with over the counter pain medicine.

How long will I be numb for?

The effects of the local anesthetic can persist for up to three hours (or more depending on the type of local anesthetic used). However, for our patients who do not like the sensation of prolonged numbness, we provide (as a courtesy) Oraverse, an FDA approved local anesthetic reversal agent. It shortens the length of time you are numb.

Will I need to be put to sleep?

Root canal therapy is most often performed using local anesthesia, while you are fully awake and functional, just like any other dental procedure. We do, however, offer different levels of sedation (including general anesthesia) for those who have a high level of dental anxiety.

How long will the procedure take?

The procedure typically takes 1.5-2 hours, depending on the complexity of the case. After your consultation, a more accurate time can be estimated. We devote a lot of uninterrupted time to care for you and your tooth.

Will the procedure be completed in one visit?

Most of the time, we aim to complete the procedure in one visit. However, certain cases such as an abscessed tooth, preclude us from completing the case in one sitting.

If I need a second appointment to complete the procedure, will I have a hole in my tooth?

No, the access hole in your tooth will have a temporary restoration.

If I need a second appointment to complete the procedure, will there be an additional charge?

We do not base our fees on “chairtime”, rather on the procedure. So, whether the treatment takes one or two visits to complete, the fee remains the same.

Will I need to come back for a check-up?

The need for a check-up visit is determined on a case by case basis.